CAD drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers into technical drawings and plans.

Do you doodle on your napkins? Spend hours on the computer without getting bored? Become a Computer-Aided Design Drafter and you will spend your days designing products and manufacturing systems using visual software. You’ll be a critical step in the life cycle of every product that your employer manufactures.

CAD Drafters work closely with engineers, which means you’ll be learning more and more about engineering and design principles as you work. Your main task will be taking designs that engineers and industrial designers draw up and translating them into programs and technical plans on the computer using CAD software. These designs will include dimensions and product specifications. You’ll also be involved in programming those schematics into CAD/CAM machines, ensuring that the mathematical formulas are right on target to produce the best product possible.

A good grasp of CAD software is a great way to get your foot in the door and many learning institutions offer courses for beginners. Mathematical skills are also necessary when looking for a position as a CAD Drafter.

Also Known As:

CAD Designer, CAD Drafter, Mechanical Drafter, Design Drafter

"I wanted to go into design because I like to help people reach their goals with the right tools.” -Shannon Power, Geotech Environmental Equipment, Inc.

Critical Skills


  • CAD or AutoCAD Software
  • Drawing
  • Engineering Technology
  • Mathematics


  • Active Listening
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Communication - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking/Oral
  • Complex Problem Solving Skills
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Problem Solving
  • Technology Design

Key Responsibilities

  • Collect numerical and written data from customers and engineers
  • Use data and drafting software to create plans for products and manufacturing systems
  •  Create mathematical formulas
  • Program plans and schematics into CAD/CAM machines


  • Computers
  • Design
  • Drawing

How to get this job

Take courses on technical drawings, architectural or manufacturing drawings. Learn software programs for design.

Next Steps for this job

ADDA certification, Drawing Programs, Project Management Skills, Customer Service Team Building

Specific job titles and duties vary by employer so check for details.